UPDATE, March 12, 2023: Congratulations to all those who won Academy Awards tonight, especially the big winner, "Everything Everywhere All at Once." The movie, known on social media as #EEAAO (or #EEAO if you don't want to include the preposition) proved that this year's major Hollywood event definitely wasn't your grandparents' Oscars. The wildly imaginative film, which featured a tax audit, won best picture. Three EEAO stars, Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Jamie Lee Curtis, won acting Academy Awards. And original screenplay and directing Oscars went to The Daniels, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
Get ready for some cinematic history, tax geeks. A movie about a small businesswoman trying to get through an Internal Revenue Service audit is the favorite to win the Academy Award on Sunday, March 12, for best picture.
"Everything Everywhere All at Once," the absurdist comedy/family drama that bounces between multiverses, garnered the most Oscar nominations, that's 11 if you're counting. The movie and its stars already have picked up trophies from myriad film groups, including the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, and Film Independent's Spirit awards.
Personally, I'm pulling for Jamie Lee Curtis to take home the statue for her supporting role as the IRS examiner. Yeah, it's over-the-top and stereotypical, but when it comes to taxes, it's better to laugh than cry (even though laughing and crying, you know it's the same release).
But you never know what will happen at any awards show, and the Oscars are notorious for "how did he/she/they/it win?!" announcements.
Earlier tax-themed films: "Everything Everywhere All at Once" is not the first movie in which taxes played a role. I love the tax code's part in "The Shawshank Redemption," and "Stranger Than Fiction" is an overlooked gem.
Nor is it the first movie to be nominated for an Academy Award. Thank you, George Clooney, for "The Descendants," which took home the 2012 Oscar for best adapted screenplay.
But like the craziness that is in many sections of the federal tax code, "Everything Everywhere All at Once" is a wildly creative and sometimes unintelligible film. And the movie's tax audit keeps things going.
So I'm just going to chill and enjoy the Oscars' show. And if a movie in which taxes play a leading role takes home a buttload of Academy Awards, that will OK with this tax and movie nerd.
Plus, at its core, the movie is really a love story. Yes, despite my cynical exterior, I'm a sucker for romance.
C'mon, only the hardest of hearts don't melt when Waymond (played by Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Ke Huy Quan) confesses to Evelyn (played by Best Actress Oscar nominee Michelle Yeoh) when they part ways in a universe where they aren't married:
"In another life, I would have really liked
just doing laundry and taxes with you."
UPDATE, June 20, 2023: I'm thrilled to be quoted in the Tax Notes story The IRS Remains the Villain on Screen and Off by Caitlin Mullaney. Its a good, comprehensive look at how the country's tax agency has a long way to go before it's represented in a better light in popular culture.
You also might find these items of interest:
- Best movie with a tax theme
- Oscars, tax breaks and best tax-themed films
- New Mexico movie/TV shoots bring in record $855.4 million
- Taxes play key role in hit indie film 'Everything Everywhere All at Once'
- Movie making tax breaks are still around, and still as controversial as the annual Oscars' picks